Labour letter was simply fantasy

From the tone of his letter (Gazette, March 27), Paul Brannen, a Labour Party European Team candidate, is tacitly admitting that his party is concerned that this region, for so long considered by his party to be a natural and unquestioning fiefdom, is about to desert Labour and join the rest of the country in embracing Ukip.

His scaremongering ranges from the deliberately disingenuous to the promulgation of fantasy.

Ukip believes that NHS care must always remain free of charge at the point of delivery. There is room for some change though to how, where and by whom that service provision is delivered.

It is already possible to receive a full NHS treatment at no extra cost to the patient from a variety of private providers. That right should be extended. Government provided services rarely are efficient. It is possible for local democratic control to be extended and for less direct government involvement in the actual provision of services to be introduced without the basic principle of free care being eroded.

The balance between the public and private sector does need further redress.

There needs to be more movement from the former to the latter and that can be achieved without compulsory redundancies or loss of services.

At the time of the last election in 2010, it was estimated that the cost of running all the quangos in existence in the UK, equated to the whole of the tax take from corporation tax.

Hardly an efficient or cost-effective use of resources, particularly as quangos tend to be incestuous in nature, providing jobs for failed politicians and other members of the political elite. This is one area of ‘public service’ that can easily be reduced. The effectiveness of most quangos is, at best, debatable.

The flat rate of tax has been party policy now for many years. This flat rate, an amalgamation of income tax and National Insurance contributions would make our complex tax system more efficient, less costly to administer for both employers and the Government. If the level of tax charged is lowered, the amount of tax collected actually increases. Our policy is not based upon old-fashioned ideas of envy but upon what will help the economy and help wealth creation.

The first duty of a government is the defence of the nation.

We will maintain and upgrade and where necessary replace existing nuclear weapons. At a time when terrorism and cyber attacks remain potentially the greatest threats to our security, we must not ignore the re-emerging threat from an increasingly belligerent Russia.

We will seek to reverse where possible the cutbacks to our armed forces and, personally, I would endorse the views of Lord Dannant, former Chief of the Defence Staff in his call for maintaining 3,000 combat troops in Germany.

The other ‘policies’ Mr Brennan describes are not policies. The reducing of the burden of regulation on employers and employees is not a suggestion that the health and safety of employees at work should be endangered but a belief that to be more competitive our businesses need to compete equally.

The next year will be interesting. Ukip recognises that we need to persuade people that we are more than a single-issue party and, to that end, a full policy review is being carried out in preparation for the manifesto on which we will fight the General Election in 2015.

As that review nears completion, we will, at the appropriate time, announce those policies.

Why though, in the midst of a European election campaign does a Labour candidate for the European Parliament feel the need to address national issues?

Is it because Labour is so devoid of a European policy that it cannot argue its case?

Or is it frightened to let the people know that it is happy for our nation to become subsumed into a United States of Europe?

At this time, let us please address Europe and all that entails. The battle for 2015 can begin later.

Nigel Coghill-Marshall,

Ukip Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Berwick upon Tweed constituency